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Learning Piano Online with Christie Peery – Student Perspective

learning piano online with christie peery

I started taking piano lessons from an in-person piano teacher when I was in late elementary with my younger sister. After about two years of in-person lessons, my parents seriously considered having us stop. We loved our teacher, but the expense of the lessons became a bit costly. Also, considering that someday my other younger siblings would want learn piano, my parents knew we couldn't possibly afford to continue in-person lessons for all of us children.

Around the time when my parents were deciding whether or not to pull us from our lessons, we heard from a friend about the Online Classical Piano School with Christie Peery. Their daughter was taking piano lessons online using the unique Video Exchange Learning® system and really enjoying them. My sister and I joined ArtistWorks six months later. My parents are very pleased with their decision, and it's been over four years now. 

What Sets ArtistWorks Apart

One of the biggest benefits to learning online at ArtistWorks is the personal feedback you can get on your playing. Here's how it works: you watch one of the hundreds of piano lessons available 24/7 and then practice the material. When you feel ready, submit a video for your teacher to review and when she responds a new Video Exchange will be born: your video paired with her video response back.

The fact that you can watch her response to you over and over again as many times as you want reinforces your learning even more. In-person lessons could never offer this kind of learning experience. Skype lessons could not provide this either.

Another advantage is that I can see all of her other students' videos and her responses back to them. I can learn from their mistakes which is invaluable to me as a pianist. I have learned so much from them. When I begin a new piece or technique, I like to go and watch other Video Exchanges on the subject.  And then throughout my practice of that piece I'll go and watch the videos again.

You might say, “Well, I could find some free piano lessons on YouTube.” However, finding a teacher with Christie's experience would be challenging. Christie has studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Music of The Johns Hopkins University under Leon Fleisher. She has played in Carnegie Hall and played Haydn's F Major Sonata 1st movement at the age of nine! She is very professional and expects the best of her students. I am honored to be one of them. Check out this video of her playing:

Here at ArtistWorks there is a strong community of pianists who are passionate about playing piano with excellence, expression, and skill. We are here to cheer each other on toward that common goal. There is an active forum that I post in whenever I have a question to get helpful answers from the community.

Learning online saves you money in another way: you don't have to drive to your once-a-week in-person piano lessons and the resulting effect is less money spent on gas. In today's expensive world this really helps. Being that all the piano lessons are online, you can learn at your own pace. If you're especially busy one week – just take off, no problem.

An Overview of Christie's Curriculum

Christie has an awesome video library of her pre-recorded piano lessons. She divides the lessons into four different categories – Fundamentals, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Further, she divides your practice further into Muscular, Practical, and Musical lessons.

In Muscular you will learn how to strengthen your muscles in your hand and arm while practicing Junior Hanon, practice your scales, focus on your technique in etudes - among other things.

piano lesson from christie peer7

When you're practicing in Practical you will have a chance to be flexible and play around in this very disciplined approach to the piano. You'll fine-tune your sight-reading skills, learn about piano theory using a workbook, get ear-training, play lead sheets, improv, etc.

Musical is my favorite part. This is where you practice your pieces, your repertoire. The focus here is to work on your shape, your posture, your musicality, and you bringing the piece alive, not just playing the notes. Focusing on your fingering, expression, rhythm, and notes. This is where you start to actually make music, to turn a bunch of notes on a sheet of paper into a song.

Last year I practiced and mastered a challenging piece. I had a hard time continuing piano some days. My view on piano was temporarily “clouded.” But then, I would listen to some great pianist and I would remember why I was learning and studying the piano – to be able to play expressively in a way that moves my listener. I kept going. After about a year of study (off and on) of this piece I got it certified – High Honors! That was SO rewarding.

My Experience with ArtistWorks

At the beginning of every week, I log on to ArtistWorks and watch any lessons I need to see, print out practice charts, and get to practicing. When I feel like I've practiced enough, I send in a video to Christie and she critiques my playing, thus making a new Video Exchange. If I get the piece Certified (this means that I have mastered the piece according to Peery requirements) on my first try she awards me “High Honors,” second try, “Honors,” third try, “Certified,” forth and subsequent attempts, “Passed.” If at any point in my practice I have a question or concern I'll send Christie a “check” of the piece to make sure I'm practicing the piece correctly.

I had been playing for a little over two years when I first joined Christie's school. I did not want to have to start in the beginning considering how long I had been playing, but Christie placed me there after seeing my first video exchange, a “placement video.” This is a short video of you playing a couple pieces that you know, demonstrating your piano level.

I was kind of disappointed that she placed me in the beginning lever, but now in hindsight I'm glad she did. I did not realize how many bad habits I had formed that needed to be fixed.

In the past few years that I have been doing lessons with her I have sent her numerous video submissions. Her responses are always helpful. I love how she tells me what I did great and what I could have done better - always to the point and very detailed. After getting a response that is not a certification I'll practice what she suggests and then re-submit it. I'm always amazed at how she can find what I did wrong without seeing me in person!

Overall I have had a great experience with Christie's piano school at ArtistWorks. I hope to see some of you soon in the Video Exchanges!

learning piano online with christie peery

Learn piano online with Chirstie Peery at http://artistworks.com/christie-peery

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